How do you overcome fear?

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 8 years ago

merle lao Unknown

merle lao Unknown Asked 13 years ago

i am always scared whenever there is a tournament. how do u shake off the fears? i lose my concentration especially if there are so many people watching.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 13 years ago

Hi Merle,

You need to be able to stay focused on what you are trying to do out there. If you are able to think only about the tactics and watching the ball this will help you.

Ths is definitely not an easy thing to do and will take practice.  The more you are put in that situation the better you can get at it like anything else you practice.

Watch the ball really , really , really closely and this will start to eliminate some of the other things that are happening.

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Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 13 years ago

When I play in tournaments I occasionally do so in front of several spectators (not huge crowds alas) - especially in the later rounds.  I know people who start choking in front of ONE audience member.  For me, the key is to enjoy it.  I love trying to play good table tennis in front of others - it helps that my natural tendency is to hot-dog.  Sometimes the crowd can be vocal (if they are all relatives and friends of your opponent!) but even when they are 'hostile' it really gets my competitive juices flowing.

Justin O'Toole

Justin O'Toole Posted 9 years ago

Fear can be very damaging but it can be the best thing ever. I tell you why fear can be your friend and how to use it to your own advatage. Fear of loosing or not doing well should be taken very seriously. Fear can motivate us, fear of failure can motavate us take it all on board. Remeber take heart everyone has fear at somepoint with their table tennis.

So use this fear to practice harder train harder to try to use it to your advantage make the thought of lossing-fear motivate you to want to win a lot more. Also when you feel fear embrace it say ah well i am fearful and fealing fear it is 8 all in a tournament and its 3 sets each, but if i was not good enough i would not be in this position to feel fear. Take heart of the fact that you are good enough to be in this position.

Another thing is to embrace this fear and tightness say to yourself bring it on this is where i wan't to be this is it i have a chance to win. If there are 400 people watching tell your self you wish there was at least 1000 people watching, and that they are making heaps of noise.

Remember the opponent probably has just as much fear as you do maybe even more. The key to getting rid of fear is to love it embrace it and put yourself in this position of feeling fear time and time again when you are in tight situations i.e. having to win to win a tourament, leading player, pennant or for your team-club-country to win. Getting youself into theese situations time and time again is the only way to get rid of fear.

Tell yourself that you love fear because fear is nothing i can beat it i don't feel fear. It is 8 all and one match to go and you have to play it is up to you to win for the team to win. Feel the fear for a few seconds then take a few deep breaths then say this is it this is where i wan't to be in this situation why because i love a challege and i know i will win yes i am sure i can win. No i am fitter, faster and stronger than my opponent i feel no fear.

Rember through out your pressure games to focus on breathing, watching the ball and always thinking about you tactics. This is what i Justin do but this is only me. Alois-Jeff might have some other techniques they are the pros.


Justin O'Toole

Justin O'Toole Posted 9 years ago

One person who i play table tennis against reguarly is an awsome attacker. He said he does not feel fear and this is his reason. You can't win every game you play. If you play 20 games he reckons you will win about half of them witch would be 10. So go with attitude you win some you loose some and it will probably even its self out oh well you can't win em all.

Also he said he does not think to much about fear of loosing or missing a shot, he just gives the ball a really hard attacking hit. Wheather it goes in or not. His words exactly quote were (i don't wan't to die wondering and won't die wondering. I just hit it hard as i can before you do to put the pressure on you.) This bloke has a fantastic attitude, is a great sport, is extremely attacking and very positive. Very hard to beat mentally.!!

Intersting policy-answer yes.? Well i think so anyway buts that's just me. Maybie i am just crazy and boring myself and others. But i really feel his answers were really intuging and intersting.  

Justin O'Toole

Justin O'Toole Posted 9 years ago

Focus on breathing and just focus on what you are doing that what Alois said to do. The more tornaments-competion you play the more knowldge you will gain. Experience is everything. I am experienced but still learning and have lost too players that have played for years and years. Just do what Alois say's he knows the game very well.

Philipp Scheit

Philipp Scheit Posted 8 years ago

What Justin says about the awesome attacker that says "I'm gonna hit it hard, no matter what" is basically what Alois ment. It's just about focusing on the things on the game that you can influence. You can influence your stance, your start and finishing position and your tactics. The rest of the game is not on your side. Don't try to avoid your fear by thinking about it and focusing on it. Try to focus on your game and what's coming next.

You'll see that this will shift your mind to something thats positive and easier to deal with. Going to a mindset like "I will do my very best at the table" will help you to lose against better players as well. If you concentrate on what you do and you make a really good shot but villain is just returning your shot very good, well then he just made a nicer shot. That's totally okay and you should  not fear better players or even losing to them. Think about what can make your own shot better the next point and try to find a better tactic :)

Good Luck!

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